I blogged very excitingly a little while ago about favourite gardening tools. Click here if you missed that gem:

 All tooled up and some place to go….

I was very cleverly going to follow in a little while about two other tools:


My hands!!!!!!!!!!

But Claire who is RHS trained and whose ‘twitternom’ is Plantpassion, rather stole my thunder with her post:

One Handed Weeding

Here she talks you through the benfits of pulling out annuals.

I would go further.

I pull out perennials if  I can.

If I can’t, I hand hoe them.

If I can’t do any of those, I rip the tops off – anything to stop them seeding. And above all, anything rather than do lots of digging with forks, trowels and spades. This I find knackers my wrists and also disturbs the soil more, making the perfect seedbed for weeds. I also think forking the ground and airating it releases more moisture and disturbs plant roots.

I have been weeding like this for some five years and notice a significant improvement in the weed population or rather the absence thereof!  

Of course it is more complicated than that. The Duchess of Windsor once asked an equally famous and loaded celebrity host for the recipe of a dish which they were eating and which she much admired. He indicated with some reluctance that she should of course have it if she really insisted, ‘But without the right arm of my chef it would be useless.’

You do in gardening build up manual dexterity be it with tools, pulling specific weeds etc. Hoeing is full of knack and hand pulling weeds is the same. Timing is key. Mulching deeply is pretty vital and the right weather and soil moisture content are plusses. Get these right and perennial removal is distinctly possible and even if not you have hit them hard.

You may not win the skirmish this way, but you will win the war.

So its all in ‘the pulling power’.

Extractez les digits!